Manufacturing and Production Careers | Product Development Engineer

Product Development Engineer

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Mechanical and Related Engineers

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Product Development Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $87,353

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $91,711

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Develops new products for companies, and participates in all phases of product development including research, design, production and marketing. Uses research on customer demand and industry trends to develop product ideas; builds and tests product prototypes; evaluates production options and costs. May specialize in a particular type of product or in products for a specific industry.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina167+7.6%
Nationwide4725+4.3%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Product Development Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting or dpanneuring is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Product Development: In business and engineering, new product development (NPD) covers the complete process of bringing a new product to market.
  • Project Management: Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • New Product Development: In business and engineering, new product development (NPD) covers the complete process of bringing a new product to market.
  • Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical Engineering, is the discipline that applies engineering, physics, and materials science principles to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems.
  • Product Design: Product design as a verb is to create a new product to be sold by a business to its customers.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Product Development Engineer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA): Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)also failure modes, plural, in many publicationswas one of the first highly structured, systematic techniques for failure analysis.
  • Mechanical Design: Mechanical Design or Machine Design is the branch of Engineering Design. Machine design or Mechanical Design can lead to the formation of the entirely new machine or it can lead to improvement of the existing machine.
  • Design for Manufacture/Design for Assembly (DFM/DFA): Design for manufacturability (also sometimes known as design for manufacturing or DFM) is the general engineering practice of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture.
  • Engineering Design and Installation: Working experience of Engineering Design and Installation. The engineering design process is a methodical series of steps that engineers use in creating functional products and processes. The process is highly iterative - parts of the process often need to be repeated many times before another can be entered - though the part(s) that get iterated and the number of such cycles in any given project may vary.
  • Materials Science: The interdisciplinary field of materials science, also commonly termed materials science and engineering, involves the discovery and design of new materials, with an emphasis on solids.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years22%
3 to 5 years51%
6 to 8 years15%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Product Engineer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Senior Product Development Engineer
  • Senior Scientist
  • Product Development Engineer II

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